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Stock Market Savvy

Not even a knee injury could hobble his calling—or his creativity

 

Grayson Roze ’15 knows crutches and stocks go together. Roze’s life took a dramatic turn when he tore his ACL at the start of lacrosse season during his junior year at Swarthmore. Faced with a summer of surgery and months of recovery, he did what any good Swattie would do: He wrote a book.

The idea took shape in his second--floor tower room at Worth, when Roze, laid up after his injury, thought back to his lifelong connection to the stock market. 

As a child, Roze wondered, “What does Dad do for a living?” Soon his investment-expert father, Gatis Roze, was bringing him along to classes on trading he taught at Bellevue College near Seattle, where Grayson helped deliver a memorable lesson. To demonstrate a simple yet critical aspect of financial chart analysis, the 10-year-old drew trend lines in front of the class with a big, pink highlighter.

Roze also loved skateboarding growing up, so his father opened a brokerage account in his son’s name. Together, they purchased a small number of shares in Zumiez, a skateboarding gear and clothing store.

“I loved Zumiez,” says Roze. “I was about 12 and my dad said, ‘Zumiez is publicly traded. You can buy a share and own some of Zumiez.’ I felt like I was buying the world.”

By the time Roze entered Swarthmore as an economics major, he was trading independently. Then one night at Worth, ruminating during his ACL recovery, he made a fateful 3 a.m. phone call to his father.

“Why don’t I write a book with you?” he asked.

That summer, while propped with a laptop, ice bags, and his knee up in the air, Roze penned the first draft of what would become Tensile Trading: The 10 Essential Stages of Stock Market Mastery

“I was inspired to do this book because I was a Swarthmore student,” says Roze. “Friends and professors gave me the support and inspiration through the process.”

When he returned to school for his senior year, Roze polished the draft, sent the manuscript to a publisher, and received a contract—Tensile Trading was published by Wiley last April.

Swarthmore has also continued to shape Roze’s view on investing. He heard campus debates about divesting from oil companies, even as he watched oil and gas stocks rise. He minored in psychology and found Professor Barry Schwartz’s classes on human decision-making fascinating, especially his book The Paradox of Choice

“The biggest challenge new investors face is emotional,” Roze says. “Emotions get ramped up when money is on the line. People make funky decisions.”

His book aims to counter that by providing a 10-stage roadmap to guide new and seasoned investors alike. 

“People my age say things like: ‘I’d never think about the stock market. It’s always crashing.’ People are scared,” he says. “As millennials, we’ve lived through two very significant financial crises: the early 2000s tech bubble and the 2007–09 Great Recession and housing-market crash. I take the long-term view. Long term, markets grow.”

Today, Roze works at StockCharts.com, a financial software company, and his next book is already in the works: He’s been asked to co-author the revised edition of Trading for Dummies. This one he plans to write without the ice bags or crutches.